Children began collecting money to raise $1,800 at St. Theresa parish in Cordele to sponsor a pallet of food for Kids Against Hunger (KAH) in Advent of 2010. It took until February 2012.
The children asked for change from their friends and families and they collected change after Masses. In addition, there were two generous donations from non-parishioners.
St. Theresa was first introduced to Kids Against Hunger in 2009 when the parish participated in the Faith in Action day sponsored by the First Baptist Church in Cordele. Kids Against Hunger (www.kidsagainsthunger.org) is an organization devoted to addressing the dietary needs of starving children and families around the world.
Once the $1,800 was in hand, the KAH affiliate from Cairo, Ann Horne, came to the parish on March 25th with everything needed to package one shipping pallet of 36 boxes containing 7,400 meals. The meals will be sent to Nicaragua. The materials included 50 lb bags of rice, soy, as well as smaller quantities of dehydrated vegetables and a chicken flavored dehydrated vitamin and mineral powder. Those four ingredients were packaged, sealed and boxed for shipment. The teams at the tables measured ingredients and placed them in bags which were heat sealed.
Nearly 50 parishoners worked together despite there being three distinct communities based on language. People working together did not necessarily speak the same language. With three packaging stations, two weighing stations, and one packaging and loading station the parishioners worked together to accomplish the task. Children as young as preschool worked with adults on the project.
The packaging task was completed in two hours. "A sense of purpose and feeling of accomplishment filled each participant; no translation necessary to convey those emotions," said Martha Walls who coordinated the project at St. Theresa parish.
Submitted by Beverly Barter. Photos by Luis Villa and Jeff Bishop.